• Get In Touch

    Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

    Financial Aid Office
    130 Essex Street
    South Hamilton, MA 01982
    (978) 646-4018
    Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F

    Student Accounts Office
    130 Essex St.
    South Hamilton, MA 01982
    (978) 646-4049
    Fax: (978) 646-4601

    Fall and Spring Hours:
    Closed Daily for Lunch 1:00pm-2:00pm
    Closed Wednesdays for Chapel 11:00am-12:15pm

    Summer Hours:
    Monday-Thursday: 9:00am-3:30pm
    Closed for Lunch: 1:00pm-2:00pm
    Friday: Closed

  • Affordability Brochure »

    Learn how real students paid for seminary.

Direct Unsubsidized Federal Direct Student Loans

Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary participates in the William D. Ford Direct Student Loan Program for Federal Direct Loans. These loans are known as Direct Unsubsidized Federal Student Loans and are available for eligible graduate students. For more information, please review the following topics on this page.

Eligibility for Student Loans
William D. Ford Direct Student Loan Program: Details and Requirements

Graduate PLUS loan program

Student Loan History through NSLDS

Federal Student Loan Repayment and Consolidation

GCTS Student Loan Indebtedness Policy


Eligibility for Student Loans

To receive a federal student loan, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (such as a Permanent Resident),
  • Have a Bachelor's degree  OR
  • Have completed at least 3 years of full-time study at the undergraduate or graduate level,
  • Be accepted into a Master's-level degree program,
  • Be registered for at least 4 credits in both the fall and spring semesters, and
  • Complete at least 67% of the classes you attempt  AND
  • Maintain the minimum required GPA for your degree.

You must not:

  • Be in default on any previous federal loans  OR
  • Be a visiting, diploma, certificate, or D.Min student


William D. Ford Direct Student Loan Program: Details and Requirements

Federal Loan Limit per Academic Year for Graduate Students:  $20,500
  • The loan amount can not exceed the cost of attendance minus any scholarship or grant.
  • Student must meet and maintain loan eligibility. See specific requirements at Apply for Financial Aid.
Interest Rate:  5.31% for the 2016-2017 Academic Year. 
  • Rate is fixed for the life of the loan.
  • Interest accrues while student is enrolled half-time or full-time.
  • Interest also accrues during the grace period.
  • Students choose to let interest build OR may pay the interest while in school.
  • Interest rate for the 2017-2018 academic year will be determined by the Department of Education and announced by July 1, 2017.
Lender Fee: 1.068% for the 2016-2017 Academic Year
  • Fee is deducted from loan amount before disbursement.
  • Lender fee for the 2017-2018 academic year will be updated by the Department of Education by July 1, 2017.
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Requirements

Students who receive federal student loans must meet the following Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements:

  • the student must maintain the minimum GPA required for his or her degree program AND
  • the student must successfully complete at least 67% of courses attempted.

For this purpose, successfully completed is defined as having received a passing grade (D or higher or P for passing).  Note that withdrawing (and receiving a W) is not considered successfully completed; the class would be included in the SAP calculation.

The SAP verification is done for each student just before disbursement of loans. If a student does not meet the requirements, the student will be notified by letter and the Financial Aid Office will not be able to disburse that student's loan.

A student who does not meet SAP requirement has the option of an SAP appeal process.  The process is described in the notification letter referenced above as well as in the 2016-2017 GCTS Student Handbook on pages 76-79. If a student's SAP appeal is approved, loan eligibility can be reinstated and the student may be eligible to receive a federal student loan.

Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling Tutorial

As a new borrower at GCTS, you will be required to complete both a Master Promissory Note (MPN) and Entrance Counseling Tutorial (Entrance Counseling). You must complete both before you can receive a Direct Unsubsidized Federal Student Loan.

The MPN is a legal document -- a promise to repay your student loan according to certain conditions. The Entrance Counseling explains your responsibilities as a borrower. Both are completed online through StudentLoans.Gov.

Exit Counseling
As you graduate, you will be required to complete an online Direct Loan Exit Counseling Tutorial. Access the Direct Loan Exit Counseling Tutorial through StudentLoans.Gov.  Note that Gordon-Conwell can not issue a diploma or transcripts until this federal requirement is complete.
The same exit counseling requirement applies if you take a leave of absence, drop below half-time, or withdraw.
Grace Period and Repayment

If you 1) drop below a half-time course loan, 2) withdraw from school, or 3) graduate, a six-month grace period begins. You would not be required to make student loan payments during this grace period, but will be required to do so once the grace period is over.

If you return to school on a half or full-time basis before the grace period is over, you will have a new six-month grace period upon graduation, withdrawal, or dropping below a half-time course load. 

The standard repayment term for student loans is ten years, but other options may be available. See StudentLoans.Gov for more information about repayment plan options.


Graduate PLUS Loan

The Federal Graduate PLUS Loan program is another option for student loans. Students apply annually and must pass a basic credit check through the Department of Education. Visit StudentLoans.Gov for more information or to apply.

Annual Maximum Amount
  • Students may borrow up to the total cost of attendance minus other financial assistance.
Interest:  6.31% for the 2016-2017 Academic Year
  • Interest accrues from time loan is disbursed.
  • Interest rate for the 2017-2018 academic year will be determined and announced by the Department of Education by July 1, 2017.
Lender fee:  4.272%
  • Fee is deducted from loan before disbursement.
  • Lender fee for the 2017-2018 academic year will be updated by the Department of Education by July 1, 2017.

Repayment begins within 60 days of the final disbursement of the loan; however, students enrolled at least half-time may defer payments while in school. Repayment terms range from 10 to 25 years depending on the loan amount. Graduate PLUS Loans are eligible for federal loan consolidation.

Master Promissory Note for GradPlus Loan
Grad PLUS borrowers are required to complete a Master Promissory Note. Complete this online at StudentLoans.Gov.
If you do not have adverse credit (as determined by the GradPLUS application)  AND have already completed the Entrance Counseling Tutorial for an Unsubsidized Direct Loan, you are not required to complete the separate GradPLUS Counseling module.  However, we do recommend that all GradPLUS borrowers complete this tutorial as it is designed to help applicants understand borrower obligations and the costs of a PLUS loan. 
Notes for students with an adverse credit finding

Students who apply for a GradPLUS loan may be determined to have adverse credit. A student with an adverse credit history may qualify for a Grad PLUS Loan by obtaining an endorser, who does not have an adverse credit history, or by documenting extenuating circumstances related to the adverse credit information.

GradPLUS Entrance Counseling is mandatory for applicants who have an adverse credit history.


Student Loan Debt History

Use the National Student Loan Data System at http://www.nslds.gov to get information on your undergraduate or graduate student loans, including who services your student loan (your "loan servicer") and how to contact them.


Federal Student Loan Repayment and Consolidation

Find information about standard repayment plans and options at studentaid.ed.gov. For information about federal student loan consolidation or application for consolidation, see studentloans.gov.  See nslds.ed.gov to review your student loan history and loan servicer.  You make payments directly to your loan servicer. 

As a student loan borrower, you are responsible for staying in touch with your loan servicer, updating your contact information, and making payments even if you do not receive a bill.  Find additional information about basic repayment procedures, repayment plans, and loan consolidation on our Federal Student Loan Repayment Handout.


GCTS Student Loan Indebtedness Policy

The Trustees and administration of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary are concerned about the impact that large loan repayments may have on the effectiveness of our students' future ministry, goals, and families. The Seminary has established a policy to reach out to any student whose student debt is nearing or has exceeded $40,000 whether from current study at the Seminary or previous study at other institutions.

We consider this level of a debt a point at which reflection is both warranted and wise. The Financial Aid Office will send you a letter with a few questions about your plans for future borrowing and repayment. We require that you thoughtfully and confidentially address those questions in your written response to our Financial Aid Debt Committee. The Committee will review your response before offering additional federal student loans beyond the $40,000 threshold.


[Return to Top]